Here’s a somewhat subtle, but important difference between eBay’s mainstay online payment system Paypal and the new upstart Google Checkout: the notification that merchants receive on completion of a transaction. I’ve been using Paypal for aeons so I’m very used to its email format and don’t really think much about it. Until now, at least.
When I signed up for Google Checkout (see: how to build Google Checkout ‘buy now’ buttons) I was subsequently pleased and delighted to receive any sort of transaction payments through their system since it’s brand new. But now that I’ve seen a number of them show up in my mailbox, the difference between the cool, useful Paypal merchant receipts and the ugly, confusing Google Checkout receipts is becoming more problematic.
The key difference between the two is that the Google Checkout receipt is a geeky “transaction log” sort of style, while Paypal offers up a much more understandable information block about the buyer including the all-important “note” section that lets them communicate directly with me as if it were an attached comment.
As someone who actively encourages these sort of comments and hopes to have people let me know why – in this case – they’re buying me a cup of coffee it’s darn frustrating that Google doesn’t offer that capability.
Worse, though, is that I get almost no information about the buyer. No name, no email address, no shipping address, no contact information at all other than an anonymized email address. But why hide that data? They just bought something from me and I am confident that they want me to be able to communicate with them and I really want to contact them to thank them too!
Let me show you. First, here’s a typical Google Checkout receipt:
and here’s the equivalent message from Paypal:
Now you tell me, which would you prefer, given the choice?
Google, let’s get on the ball with this one, please!